The litter box is the first thing you should check. It should be in a quiet, private area of the house. Many people put them in their basements and leave the door open a little as this not only creates a private environment but also keeps odors to a minimum in the rest of the house.
Some use a closet but if you do this be sure and keep the box clean to reduce odors in such a confined space and don't forget to leave the door open!
Another placement possibility is under a table. Many people find a place without carpeting is best from a maintenance point of view as tile or cement is a lot easier to clean.
Ask yourself if you changed the litter box in any way:
* Has the box been moved to a high traffic area recently? * Does the box need cleaning? * Is a new litter being used or does it have too heavy a scent (clumping and unscented is best). * Has the depth of the litter in the box changed? Some cats like their litter deep, others shallow. * Your cat has outgrown the box and needs a larger one. * The box is too hard to enter and exit. This can be an issue for older cats.
Do not put food and water near the litter box. Cats like these two areas kept separate (don't you?).
If your cat has picked out a particular room to soil try closing the door to that room if you can or cover the target area with furniture.
Put a bowl of food over the target area as cats like to keep their eating area away from their "bathroom".
Take your cat to the Vet on a regular basis.
If you have more than one cat get each one of them their own litter box.
Have you recently moved? A cat might smell an area where the previous owner's cat urinated.
Let the cat alone while it goes so it can have some privacy.
If it is a new cat in your home it could take from three to eight weeks to get adjusted to the new environment. Be patient!
Was there a recent addition or loss to the family? A new baby, spouse? This is usually temporary until the cat adjusts to the change in their environment.
A change in your schedule can throw off your cat's schedule as well and cause problems. Try and phase in major lifestyle changes gradually.
NEVER EVER punish the cat by kicking, hitting, chasing, screaming or rubbing their nose in their urine (remember the smell doesn't bother them). Cats cannot make the cause and effect connection like we can so punishment after the fact is useless and will only make matters worse.
Cats are naturally very clean animals and they know where they are going. It is important to remember this and try and help your cat overcome any stress or anxiety they might be having in a caring and loving manner.
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